West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who spearheaded a mega rally in Kolkata on December 16 in protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC), stated that NRC and CAA will not be implemented in the state.
Speaking on the occasion, she said, “NRC and CAA will not be implemented in Bengal.”
“If you trust me, remember, we are there for you. They will have to implement CAA and NRC in Bengal over my dead body. When we raised our voice against NRC, we were alone. Now other chief ministers are speaking out. I urge them to oppose CAA also, “she said.
“This is not the fight of any particular religion or community. This is a fight to preserve our culture, unity, harmony. We will foil BJP’s sinister plans to capture Bengal. I urge everyone to build up mass people’s protests. Write letters in blood and send them to Rashtrapati Bhavan,” the chief minister noted.
“They are trying to instigate violence so that they can use it as a pretext to send the forces. Lives were lost in Assam. Bullets were fired in Delhi. Our police forces are much more organised.”
“The dalals of BJP are worse than the party itself. The markets are on fire. Prices of commodities are on the rise and they are only busy dividing people.”
“Everyone is an anti-national and only they are nationalists? This is so peculiar…not how a country is governed,” she quipped.
She also appealed to everyone to desist from violence during protests.
“After the Partition of Bengal in 1905, Rabindra Nath (Tagore) had initiated the custom of Hindus and Muslims tying rakhi to each other. He had composed ‘Banglar Mati, Banglar Jol’,” she remarked.
“We do not discriminate on the basis of religion. Religion is personal. This land belongs to all, India belongs to all, Bengal belongs to all,” she averred.
“Those who fought for independence, those who framed the Constitution, they fought for unity and harmony. After coming to power, BJP thinks they are bigger than even the sky. They think they own us!” Banerjee asserted.
“Sabka saath nahi hoga toh sabka vikas kaise hoga (If you don’t stand in solidarity with all, how will everyone prosper)? Don’t you have voters’ ID card, ration card? Don’t you vote? Don’t you have bank accounts? We all are citizens of the country. Who are you to ask us whether we are citizens?” she questioned.
“Do not adopt violent means of protest. We must protest peacefully, to keep the democratic spirit alive.”
“BJP wants Hindu-Muslim riots so that they can reap political benefits. It is our duty to help those who are in need, irrespective of religion. As long as I am alive, we will not implement NRC, CAA. They can dismiss our government if they want. We will not surrender,” she commented.